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We all love riding our bikes. We also love sharing the experience with some choice videos and still images. It seems that it’s almost obligatory to take some footage these days. No data, no ride, is fast becoming; no data and photos, no ride.
It doesn’t matter if you’re doing a 20km TT, or undertaking an epic biking adventure, catching and uploading the experiences has never been more popular. Luckily neither has the choice of bike cameras.
The selection of action cameras is now truly awesome. For all the fellow cyclists out there, here is our choice of the best bike cameras currently for sale. If you have the cash to flash, or you’re on a budget, we’ve hopefully got you covered.
So, let’s dive in and take a closer look.
- Top 8 Best Bike Camera To Buy 2021 Reviews
- 1 Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 Action Camera
- 2 YI 4K Action & Sports Camera, 4K/30fps Video 12MP Raw Image
- 3 GoPro Hero5 Session
- 4 GoPro Hero8 Black – Waterproof Action Camera
- 5【Upgrade】 Campark X20 Action Camera Native 4K Ultra HD 20MP
- 6 DJI Osmo Action – 4K Action Cam 12MP Digital Camera
- 7 Sony AZ1 Action Camera Mini POV HD Video Camera
- 8 Fly6[v] HD Rear Bike Camera & 30 Lumen Tail Light
- Best Bike Camera Buying Guide
- Before We Announce Our Winner
- Final Thoughts On The Best Bike Camera
Top 8 Best Bike Camera To Buy 2021 Reviews
1 Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 Action Camera
This is an ultra-high-definition camera capable of shooting in 4K. You can shoot footage in 4k/30fps, or 1080p/120fps, or in slow motion at 720p/240fps. To keep your pictures or videos nice and stable whilst you’re riding, the camera also features three axis image stabilization.
The good news is that if you choose to use the waterproof case, you’re still able to operate the touchscreen. The waterproof case is provided with the camera, which is a nice-to-have free accessory.
The camera comes with a clamp that can be used to secure it to your handlebars. Once it’s in position, it’s rock-solid and will stay in position for your entire ride.
Whilst riding, if you prefer not to use the touchscreen, you can take advantage of the voice control functions. The voice control allows you to stop/start recording, take photos, and tag footage. That’s cool and allows you to focus on your riding and the road ahead rather than on the camera.
The Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 Action Camera is compatible with most GoPro mounts and accessories. It also has GPS and can be hooked up to your other Garmin devices. With a built-in ability to record data, such as speed and elevation, this can also be used to overlay footage of your ride.
If you want to record live video and live stream it in HD to YouTube, there is a one-touch button to activate the stream. This is for Apple users via the VIRB app.
Perhaps the good people of Garmin would like to explain why they’ve designed a camera with a function only available to less than 10% of smartphone users word wide?
Android users can at least take heart with the fact that they can still take advantage of the built-in microphone. And in fact, just about everything else that the camera has to offer.
- Voice control.
- Built-in microphone.
- Easy to use and edit software package.
- Waterproof case provided.
- Tough and durable.
- Live stream only available with Apple devices.
2 YI 4K Action & Sports Camera, 4K/30fps Video 12MP Raw Image
This is a neat and feature-packed sports camera.
It can shoot in 4K definition at 30fps and is also capable of shooting in slow motion at 7200/240fps. The camera has an advanced video stabilization system that allows you to record super smooth videos at 2.7K/60fps.
The YI 4K Action and Sports Camera has a good-sized 2” touchscreen. It’s as easy to use as the Garmin camera we’ve just reviewed. However, the extra .25” screen size does make a difference in terms of usability and legibility.
It has a huge range of different recording and picture modes. The menu is easy to use, and once you have your footage or images, the YI editing app opens up endless further possibilities.
The YI 4K Action and Sports Camera can be activated by voice command. It also has instant sharing functions and can be hooked up to work remotely for editing and live streaming to social media.
The touchscreen is made of Gorilla glass, so it will stand up to punishment without scratching. Unfortunately, although you can use the camera in conjunction with a waterproof case, it’s not provided as standard.
For those of you going on longer rides, you’ll be pleased to hear that the YI 4K Action and Sports Camera has a battery life of 120 minutes. This is when shooting in 4K at 30/fps. It also has a standby battery life of 8 hours. The battery is rechargeable and uses a 4.4V high voltage lithium battery.
- Excellent software.
- Voice command.
- Gorilla glass.
- Long battery life.
- Waterproof case not included.
3 GoPro Hero5 Session
This is a small sports camera that still manages to pack plenty in.
Measuring just 1.43 x 1.50 x 1.50 inches, and weighing only 4.48 ounces, it’s the smallest of all the cameras on our list.
In this case, we’d say that, yes, it is.
Firstly, there is no external housing on the camera. That means you don’t have any accessories to carry around, and it’s easy to operate. What it doesn’t mean, though, is that it isn’t waterproof.
Even without a case, the GoPro Hero5 Session is fully waterproof up to a depth of 10 meters. As long as all the flaps are closed, you’re good to go. Now that’s pretty amazing.
Also pretty cool is the simplicity of the camera. You get just two buttons — one on top of the camera to turn it off and on. Plus, a second button on the back of the camera that operates the menu.
We’ll concede that the readout out for the menu, which is on top of the camera, is small. It’s very small. But unless you’re of a certain age, you should be able to read it, OK. It’s good enough to get the job done, and given the minuscule size of the camera, it’s a fault we can readily forgive.
When recording, it’s clear to see when the camera is on, as a small light illuminates on the front and the rear of the camera.
This is a 4K camera backed up with exceptional editing software. You simply connect to it via USB. Which incidentally you also use to charge the battery. GoPro App is compatible with IOS 10 or higher and is also compatible with Android 5.0 or higher.
Despite its size and low price point for a GoPro camera, you still get voice control, dual microphones, and class-leading stabilization. You also get a Bluetooth connection to the electronic device of your choice.
It’s a great camera.
- Tiny and light.
- Excellent editing software.
- Simple one-button operation.
- No external case required.
- Hard to read the menu.
- Only compatible with SD mini cards.
- Short battery life.
4 GoPro Hero8 Black – Waterproof Action Camera
This is significantly larger than the GoPro Hero5 Session we’ve just reviewed.
The GoPro Hero8 Black is still relatively small and measures a trim 1.1 x 1.9 x 2.6 inches and weighs just over 4 ounces. Since this is a little larger than its smaller brother, there’s room on the back of the camera for a touchscreen display.
The display is quite small, but it’s a lot easier to read and change parameters and functions than on the Go Pro Hero5.
Another upgrade is the 12MP photo quality compared to 10MP for the GoPro Hero5. Also, the GoPro Hero8 has HyperSmooth 2.0 video stabilization. We’ve no complaints about any of the GoPro cameras for stabilization. However, the latest HyperSmooth 2.0 takes camera stability to a whole new level.
The GoPro Hero8 also has TimeWarp 2.0, which is super cool. This automatically adjusts the speed based on motion. You can also slow down or speed up the effect in real-time.
These include voice control, microphones, and waterproofing to 10 meters. It also has Bluetooth and can connect to GoPro’s excellent editing software app with either IOS 10 or Android 5.0 phones.
For any would-be filmmakers or vloggers, the Hero8 has a good choice of accessories to make life easier. Quick loading accessories include external microphones, flashes, LCD screens, and much more.
Though this is a more expensive GoPro version than the Hero5, we think that the increased functionality more than justifies the price. This is undoubtedly one of the best bicycle cameras on the market.
- HyperSmooth 2.0.
- TimeWarp 2.0.
- Easy to use touch screen.
- Excellent software.
- Short battery life
5【Upgrade】 Campark X20 Action Camera Native 4K Ultra HD 20MP
This is an inexpensive GoPro-compatible sports action camera.
For not a lot of money, you get a 4K camera with a rather impressive 20MP capability with still shots. The camera can be used with an 8 – 64 GB micro SD card. The micro SD card is not included as part of the purchase.
The Campark X20 Action Camera comes with an easy-to-use and intuitive 2” color touchscreen. You get excellent preview and playback viewing. Plus, all essential parameters are neatly displayed.
The camera has built-in Electronic Image Stabilization technology to keep your cycling videos smooth over rough terrain. Though the quality of the stabilization is not as good as the HyperSmooth 2.0 on the GoPro Hero8, it’s still impressive. What’s more, it’s still up there with a sports camera at more than 2 or 3 times the price.
The Campark X20 Action Camera can be operated by the watch-style remote control. There’s no doubt about it; for cyclists, this is an excellent feature. So much easier for us to use a control than having to try to operate the touchscreen on a ride.
The remote control is not waterproof, which shouldn’t be too much of a problem for us cyclists. Unless, of course, some bright spark has invented a new genre of cycling we’re yet to hear about. Otherwise, we’re all good.
If you want to use the camera off the bike, it has an impressive water resistance of 40 meters once secured inside the waterproof case. This is supplied as standard, along with the remote wrist band and a few other useful accessories.
Two lithium batteries are also included, though you might want to get yourself a load more to take on your rides. The headline figure of giving you 60 minutes shooting time in 4K is a little optimistic. Expect to burn through batteries pretty quickly. They are, of course, rechargeable.
We’ve no hesitation in recommending this as the best action camera on a budget.
- Very affordable.
- Good stabilization technology.
- Clear 2” color touch screen.
- Remote control wristband.
- Forty meters of water resistance.
- Heavy battery use.
- No voice-control.
- App software a little clunky.
6 DJI Osmo Action – 4K Action Cam 12MP Digital Camera
This is a sports camera from a company that specializes in drones.
The DJI Osmo Action Camera is one of the more expensive options on our list but is packed with high-end features. This includes the dual-color screens on the front and the rear of the camera. The rear screen measures a good-sized 2.3” and the front screen measures 1”.
You can quickly operate all the cameras functions from here. The front screen is for display only. This is superb for taking selfies or shooting video. The front camera means you’ll get the photos and all the action you want to record every time.
The DJI Osmo Action Camera has a Quick Switch button on the top of the camera. This can be programmed to use in several ways. For example, to switch between the front or rear display, or to change modes or custom settings. Perfect to use on the fly.
This 4K camera has amazing 8x slow-motion capability and time-lapse functions. Regardless of how it’s used, the quality of the images is of the highest level. Also, of the highest level, is its stabilization.
It utilizes EIS stabilization with RockSteady film-making technology to give you the very best in shake-free footage. This is every bit as good, if not better than GoPro’s SuperSmooth 2.0.
When recording in HDR video, you can enhance the dynamic range to deliver natural transitions from light to dark areas. This assists you to better capture the rich details you might otherwise lose in areas with complex lighting.
Other features of The DJI Osmo Action Camera include voice control, snapshot photo and recording, waterproof capability up to 11 meters, and low-temperature resistance. The camera also has a special built-in heat dissipation system to keep you running cool wherever you are.
Once you finish recording, their DJI Mimo App provides you with excellent software to edit your images and footage. The App is compatible with Android and IOS. For Android, you need 7.0 or higher, and for IOS, you need 10.0 or higher.
- RockSteady and EIS stabilization technology.
- Dual-color screens.
- Quick Switch button.
- Voice control.
- Excellent editing software.
- Difficult to use with RockSteady off.
7 Sony AZ1 Action Camera Mini POV HD Video Camera
This is the smallest of Sony’s splash-proof action cameras. It measures just 3 x 1 x 1.1 inches and weighs just 2.22 ounces, including the batteries. Although this is small for Sony, there are plenty of smaller sports action cameras available.
The Sony AZ1 Action Camera has a total of 5 different video modes. It is fitted with an ultra-wide Zeiss lens that can shoot at up to a 170-degree viewing angle. Happily, the Zeiss lens is guaranteed to give you the very highest quality images and videos, however, it’s used.
Sony uses its SteadyShot stabilization technology to keep things from getting blurred and shaky.
The camera’s basic functions are easily operated, even when riding, via the main function buttons on top of the camera. If you want to operate the camera, you can do this by linking the camera to your electronic device. Alternatively, you can purchase Sony’s remote-control wrist band.
Sony has Action Cam Movie Creator software to allow you to edit your footage. The software is smooth and doesn’t take much time to become familiar with.
Unfortunately, the camera is not waterproof. Although this isn’t essential as a bike camera, it would be nice to have for extra protection and security. It would also be nice to have in case you wanted to take it diving or into the pool.
Sadly, although it’s not waterproof, you do get an IPX4 rating. This is fine for rain and showers but not for immersing in water. And for any of you lucky enough to have snow bikes, you’ll also be fine.
- Zeiss lens.
- Easy to operate basic functions.
- SteadyShot stabilization.
- Smooth to operate app and software.
- Not waterproof.
- No voice-command.
- No setting to switch between camera and photo.
8 Fly6[v] HD Rear Bike Camera & 30 Lumen Tail Light
This is great for some rear-end action.
This clever camera doubles up as both a light and a camera. It measures 2.4 x 1.5 x 3.4 inches and weighs just over 4 ounces. This means that it’s neither too heavy nor too large to interfere with your ride.
The Fly6[v] HD Rear Bike Camera comes with a strong Velcro strap. This can most easily be mounted on your seat post. Alternatively, it could be mounted to a seat stay or bike bag. The camera can be fitted on any make of bike and will even fit onto aero frames.
You can operate the camera with or without the light. When operated with the light, you can expect a full 6 hours of HD operation before the battery fails.
The camera comes with an 8GB micro SD card included. When you’re recording, the camera will automatically be set to record over previous footage once the card if full.
It’s not about being able to catch exciting footage to be uploaded and shared. This is more like a Car Dashcam that keeps and stores footage in case of an accident.
If you want to record forward-facing action, the good news is that there’s also a forward-facing, white light version of the Fly6. So, if you like, you can get all the footage of your rides from the front and rear.
- Long battery life.
- Records in HD.
- Micro SD card included.
- Large video file size and old format.
- Narrow view.
Best Bike Camera Buying Guide
All the best bicycle cameras these days come with 4K quality. None of the cameras we’ve reviewed, other than the Fly6 have a lower specification.
All the cameras provide excellent quality images and footage, although the Sony AZ1 Action Camera Mini stands out with its Zeiss lens for superior quality. The GoPro Hero8 does, however, give it a good run for its money. This is close to, if not equally, as good as the Sony AZ1 Action Camera Mini.
Stabilization has come on in leaps and bounds (Yes, we know!) over the last few years. Even on low-priced cameras, like the Campark X20 Action Camera, you still get great levels of smooth footage.
Most cameras use EIS advanced stabilization systems to capture shake-free video and stills. But for the smoothest video, we’d recommend the GoPro Hero8, which uses its proprietary HyperSmooth 2.0 system. Alternatively, we’d recommend the DJI Osmo Action camera, which uses a combination of EIS and RockSteady stabilization.
These are both sure to give you perfect video and images over even the bumpiest of rides.
Ease of Use
A color touchscreen menu undoubtedly helps to set up your shots and video. Whilst this is great to capture some amazing images, we are more concerned with how easy a camera is to use on the fly. When you’re tearing down a hill, you only have an instant to get ‘that’ photo or piece of video.
Under these circumstances, speed is everything. In these circumstances, you need something simple. This is where GoPro and the DJI Osmo Action camera step up.
Both of them have a one-button operation that can be programmed to perform one of a few different functions. Both of them are super easy to use in the heat of the moment.
We also feel we need to give another mention to the dual-screened DJI Osmo Action camera. This is because the dual screens help to perfectly capture selfies and video selfies effortlessly. When combined with the Quick Switch button, it makes everything straightforward to operate.
Once you capture your image or video, being able to edit it and post it as easily as possible is important. When you consider all the software options, the clear winner is the GoPro Studio software used to support all GoPro cameras.
This is an excellent free piece of software that offers a big range of features to easily facilitate video editing. It also provides a whole host of special effects that can be used to create a unique and lasting impression.
As a piece of free editing camera software, it’s genuinely hard to beat.
Batteries are always going to be an issue with smaller cameras. This is even more so when trying to shoot videos on long rides. Sadly, battery technology has not caught up with video technology. This has consequently left a hole in battery life for extended shooting.
In the real world, you can’t expect to get much more than around 60 minutes of filming, in 4K, using a small camera. Some cameras might claim to be able to get more but are seldom able to achieve it.
Our advice is, therefore, to always carry around a few spare batteries. Plus, also make sure you only ever select a bike camera that uses rechargeable batteries. Which most do anyway.
Before We Announce Our Winner
For more great reviews of bike accessories and bike parts, check out our comprehensive coverage of the Best Bicycle GPS Trackers, the Best Bike Rollers, the Best Bicycle Tires for Gravel Riding, the Best Bicycle Tire Pressure Gauges, the Best Flat Pedals, the Best Bike Repair Stands, and the Best Bicycle Tool Kits on the market.
Back to bike cameras…
Final Thoughts On The Best Bike Camera
So, there you have it.
Taking images and footage of your ride has never been easier. The quality of those images has never been greater. And even better, you can now do it all without breaking the bank.
Since the first action camera was introduced by GoPro in 2004, there are plenty of makes to challenge GoPro’s crown. However, in our opinion, the best action camera, and more particularly the best bike camera, is still a GoPro.
We think the…GoPro Hero8… is the best camera in its class having beaten some strong competition.
This is because the GoPro Hero8, with its Hypermooth 2.0, has some of the best camera stabilization in the business. It also has superb camera and video functions, including TimeWarp 2.0, that are easy and intuitive to use.
Finally, the range of accessories is extensive, and the software GoPro Studio software is the best free software on the market.
You honestly can’t go wrong with GoPro.
Enjoy your bikes, your cameras, and your rides.